Marie-Chantal Miller’s Wedding Dress & Tiara

The incredibly lavish events that marked Prince Pavlos of Greece’s wedding to Marie-Chantal Miller deserve a place in the history books. Last week we recapped the wedding festivites (click here for a refresher) and today we’re taking a close look at the bride’s couture wedding dress.

On the steps [Us Weekly]
On the steps [Us Weekly]
Since the couple became engaged during the Christmas 1994 holiday and the wedding took place on July 1 of 1995, there were just 6 months to pull everything together.  Marie-Chantal chose Valentino to design the dress and according to Vogue, it took more than 25 seamstresses to complete the £140,000 ivory silk gown. Twelve different types of lace reportedly were included in the dress and with a high neck, fitted bodice, and long sleeves Marie-Chantal wanted quite a traditional and modest silhouette. The bodice and sleeves are made of floral lace (much like Grace Kelly’s iconic wedding dress) and the lace extends to the empire line of the dress.

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It’s a beautiful gown but even with all the attention to detail it is not a favorite of mine- overall it just seems rather heavy – but I do love the lustre of the ivory silk and the detail on the skirt is gorgeous.

The bride & groom posed outside of the cathedral after the wedding [Vogue]
The bride & groom posed outside of the cathedral after the wedding [Vogue]
 In fact, the lace appliqué on the skirt is somewhat reminiscent of Kate Middletown’s Alexander McQueen wedding gown. I wouldn’t be surprised if Marie-Chantals’ gown was an inspirational reference for her. Check out both of the gowns on display below to see the similar affect they both have:

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Different and yet so similar – can you see it, too?

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I think what really takes the heaviness factor over the top is the chantilly lace veil; there’s just so much going on and those scallops are not dainty. I think a more diaphanous veil may have done the trick. Regardless, the veil extended beyond the length of the dress which was quite stunning, though.

Along with her intricate veil  Marie-Chantal wore a diamond and pearl encrusted tiara. This particular tiara is known as the Antique Corsage Tiara and it was on loan from her mother-in-law Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

The Corsage Tiara [Hello!]
The Corsage Tiara [Hello!]
Queen Anne-Marie received it on her 18th birthday (gotta love the 18th birthday tiara tradition) and it has quite an extraordinary history. The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor – a fantastic blog- has a great post on this tiara here. Marie-Chantal wore the tiara at other occasions after the wedding, though nowadays she seems to prefer wearing three other tiaras at her disposal (perhaps they should be the subject of another post!).

In choosing Valentino, Marie-Chantal started something of a trend among royal brides including  Maxima, shown here at her 2002 wedding to Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. Maxima’s gown was made of silk mikado and has a similar silhouette to Marie-Chantal’s.

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Princess Madeleine of Sweden also chose Valentino as well for her 2013 wedding to Christopher O’Neill

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 as did Prince Amadeo of Belgium’s bride Elisabetta Rosboch Von Wolkenstein in 2014.

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Marie-Chantal remained friends with Valentino over the years and loaned her dress to be exhibited for Valentino: Master of Couture. This exhibit was held at Somerset House in London from November 2012 – March 2013 which gives us a great look at the detail of the dress. Here’s a better look at the train – it is separate from the skirt and extends from the waist.

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Marie-Chantal and Valentino posed in front of the dress at a private viewing before the exhibit opened which is quite sweet.

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The King and Queen of Greece showed up as well, and Marie-Chantal brought along her oldest child and only daughter Princess Olympia (more on her here).

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Marie-Chantal still wears Valentino and they seem quite chummy; she shared this instagram picture with the design legend en route to Princess Madeleine’s wedding.

A little instagram insights from Marie-Chantal [Hello!]
A little instagram insights from Marie-Chantal [Hello!]
So what are your thoughts on this wedding gown – too ornate and heavy or perfectly pretty and just right?

 

Thoughts on Those Prince Harry and Princess Olympia of Greece Rumours

In the last few days, Princess Maria-Olympia has been in the news thanks to some highly speculative reports that she and Prince Harry are dating. Let’s discuss.

Simply called Olympia by her parents,  she is the only daughter of Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece. Pavlos is the oldest son of the King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece while Marie-Chantal one of the  ‘Miller Sisters‘; her parents are Duty Free Shoppers entrepreneur Robert Miller and his wife María Clara Pesantes Becerra. Pavlos and M-C are below, dolled up for the pre-wedding dinner hosted by The Queen on the eve of William and Kate’s wedding (love M-C’s dress!).

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The monarchy was abolished in Greece in 1973 and the family has been living in exile but they still uses their titles. However, the King and Queen of Greece are also Prince and Princess of Denmark. The Queen of Greece is the younger sister of Queen Margarethe II of Denmark and King Constantine descends from Christian IX of Denmark.

So Olympia is technically Princess Olympia of Greece and Denmark and she is the oldest child with four younger brothers: Constantine (Tino to family), Achileas (Achi), Odysseus, and Aristides. The photograph below was taken during the wedding celebrations Prince Nikolaus’ wedding to Tatiana Blatnik in August 2010 (Nikolaus is Pavlos’ younger brother).

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Olympia was born in New York but moved to London with her family in 2002; M-C and Pavlos wanted their children to be educated in Europe and also to be closer to Pavlos’ parents who live in London. She’s now 19 and has returned to New York for University (her courses began this past September) and she seems to very much enjoy the social scene.

She joined her parents for the ARK Gala dinner in June 2011, which was also the first public event attended by the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after their wedding. The photograph below shows Olympia arriving with her parents.

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That’s the night that Kate looked AH-MAZING in her sparkly Jenny Packham gown.

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She’s also been spotted at Paris Fashion week; this particular photo was taken with her mom and maternal grandmother.

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More recently, she turned out to a gala at the Guggenheim in New York in November 2015.

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She’s also been on the cover of Tatler and Spain’s Vanity Fair and was also featured in W.

Olympia on the cover of Tatler [Daily Mail]
Olympia on the cover of Tatler [Daily Mail]
Her Instagram account @OlympiaGreece currently has over 60 thousand followers and she’s regularly shares her adventures. Her recent winter break from school has included Christmas at their home in the Bahamas followed by time in Los Angeles and then onto England.

Olympia photographed for W magazine [Daily Mail]
Olympia is pretty in pink for her Instagram account  [Daily Mail]
Meanwhile Harry is 31 and based in London.

Prince Harry [People]
Prince Harry [People]
Overall, I think it is wishful thinking on the part of the media who want to make this a thing, and there have been numerous denials from ‘inside sources’ backing this up. It is true though that their families have a ton of connections so who knows what could happen down the road.  Let’s break it down.

First of all, Olympia and Harry share a common ancestor in Queen Victoria so they are distant cousins. As well, Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (The Queen and Prince Philip also share Queen Victoria as a common ancestor).

The Greek and British royal families have spent quite a bit of time together over the years. In August of 1990  Diana, Charles, William, and Harry were invited by the King of Spain to spend time on his yacht. The King and Queen of Greece joined in as well with their youngest daughter Theodora (Olympia’s aunt).

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Here’s another shot of them all.

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When M-C and Pavlos got married in London in 1995, Queen Elizabeth II threw them a tea party at Claridges, and she attended the wedding along with Prince Philip and Prince Charles. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh can be seen below on the steps outside the church after the ceremony.

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When Olympia was born in 1997, Prince Charles was asked to be godfather and he accepted.   They also asked Prince William to be Olympia’s younger brother Constantine’s godfather in 1999. Here he is at the christening, with a broken arm and all.

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This was especially poignant since one of Prince William’s godfather’s is King Constantine and he was there for Prince William’s confirmation at Windsor Castle in March 1997 (he’s the fellow in glasses behind Diana below).

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Interestingly, just Prince Pavlos, Princess Marie-Chantal, and Prince Constantine were invited to  William and Kate’s wedding, so Olympia and her other brothers had to stay at home. Here they are arriving at Westminster Abbey for the ceremony:

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They can be spotted here as well:

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They weren’t invited to the evening reception at Buckingham Palace, though but they made the most of it and threw a bash for the other uninvited folks at their home.  Attendees included Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Michael of Kent (check out more on that here at the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor).

In 2010, The Queen attended a 70th birthday party for King Constantine. It was also held at Pavlos and Marie-Chantal’s London home. Love her  soft blue dress!

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When she arrived, Prince Pavlos was there to greet her:

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And here she is saying goodbye to the King:

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In 2012, Princess Marie-Chantal’s wedding dress was included in the Valentino: Master of Couture exhibit that was held in London. She brought along Olympia for the event, and she had her picture taken with Princes Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

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That same year, Queen Elizabeth II held a reception for reigning sovereigns at Windsor Castle and Harry and Kate caught up with the King and Queen of Greece.

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In 2013, Beatrice and Olympia were photographed together at a photography event in London.

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So in a nutshell it’s very possible that Harry and Olympia have met and it’s likely that their paths will keep crossing, but anything beyond that seems unlikely for the time being. It would be fun though, right? I mean, Olympia already has access to several tiaras!

This has all all  got me thinking it’s about time for a post on Marie-Chantal and Pavlos’ wedding so that will be sure next post. In the meantime,  click here for more on Marie-Chantal and her sisters.

 

Happy Birthday to The Royal Post!

Today marks the one year anniversary of The Royal Post. Thanks for coming to visit us and to read one or many of our 226 posts! It sure has been fun.

We thought we’d mark the day with a look at the ten most read posts of the year.

10. Sarah Ferguson’s Engagement Ring

Although Fergie and Prince Andrew have been divorced for years now, this is constantly google searched, bringing readers to The Royal Post. Take from that what you will.

9. Kate & Pippa Wearing the Same Clothes

Are musings on the seemingly shared closet of the Middleton girls, updated whenever there’s a new piece discovered.

8. The Miller Sisters

These are the three sisters who have had lots of ink spilled for them because they married “two princes and a Getty.” Interesting that this post, which we published back in the first two weeks of the blog, is being read oodles of times every day, mostly thanks to google searches.

7. Crown Princess Mary’s Engagement Ring and Pre-Wedding Interview

You just gotta love Crown Princess Mary.

6. What Kate Was Wearing When She First Met the Queen

As Kate disclosed during her and William’s engagement interview, this first meeting took place at Autumn and Peter’s wedding at Windsor. You know, the wedding when the bride and groom decided to sell the pictures to Hello magazine and all hell broke loose. That one.

5. Our Favourite Royal Wedding Dresses

This was one of our first posts. Take a look and vote!

4. A Tale of Two Cottages: William & Kate’s London Home

A peak at Nottingham Cottage, the little house on the grounds of Kensington Palace that William and Kate have been calling their London base.

3. Kate & William’s Future Kensington Palace Apartment

Kate and William are getting the keys this month, and renovations will be underway in their new apartment, which used to be the home of grand dame Princess Margaret. As you can image,  How exciting that it will be given new life by William and Kate. This is a big deal. I imagine they are planning on making it their permanent base. Yes, it way off into the future, but when William becomes king it wouldn’t surprise me if he and Kate decided to stay on at KP instead of moving over to Buckingham Palace, or Buck House as the royals call it.

2. Thoughts on Emily McCorquodale’s Wedding

This was seriously fun. When the pictures came out of Emily’s wedding, we couldn’t help but write and write and write about what we were seeing. Fortunately, reporters out there didn’t seem to really have a clue so it was fun to shed some light on things.

1. British Royal Family Christening Gowns

Who knew there were so many people out there searching for royal christening gowns? Take it from us, there are. Every day of the week.

Thanks for all of the comments and messages in the last year. Do let us know if you have any requests for future posts!

The Greek Emerald Parure Tiara

The second of our emerald tiaras for the month of May, the Greek Emerald Parure Tiara!

The Greek Emerald Parure Tiara

This tiara’s history begins in 1867, when Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia arrived in Greece to marry King George I. She brought with her a set of cabochon emeralds in varying sizes, and during her lifetime Queen Olga of Greece wore those emeralds in a variety of settings – in her kokoshnik, as pendants on a necklace, and as brooches.

Upon Queen Olga’s death in 1926 her emeralds passed to her grandson, King George II, and his wife Queen Elisabeth of Greece decided to really use the emeralds. She wore it as a single emerald in a bandeau low across her forehead, which was in fashion at the time, and she also had several emeralds set in a diamond frame. However, Queen Elisabeth eventually decided to have a new tiara commissioned by Cartier that was quite similar to a tiara that was owned by her sister, Queen Maria of Yugoslavia. This tiara is in the style of the kokosnik tiara, and features 5 cabuchon emeralds set between stylized ‘E’’s made out of diamonds, in honour of Elisabeth’s name.

Queen Elisabeth and King George II ended up divorced with no children after a period of exile. The tiara remained in the Greek Royal Family, and it makes its next appearance on Queen Frederika, the wife of King Pavlos, the younger brother of King George II.

Queen Frederika loved the emeralds, and wore them on a regular basis, both as a tiara, or as a necklace in combination with other tiaras in the Greek Royal family. Queen Frederika altered the tiara and removed the band at the top and bottom of the tiara, making it the tiara that exists today. Queen Frederika also completed the elements of the parure, making use of the remaining cabochon emeralds in a pair of drop emerald earrings, a large brooch with multiple mirrored diamond ‘E’s and more emeralds, and 5 single emerald drops which can be suspended from any necklace, or suspended from the brooch.

Queen Frederika passed the full parure to the wife of her son King Constantine II upon his marriage in 1946 to HRH Princess Anne-Marie Dagmar Ingrid of Denmark.

The new Queen Anne-Marie, who was married to King Constantine II just two weeks after her 18th birthday, is the youngest sister of Queen Margarethe II of Denmark, and the cousin of King Carl Gustav of Sweden. (See our most recent tiara post on the Danish Emerald Parure, for Queen Anne-Marie’s sister Queen Margarethe II of Denmark in more fabulous emeralds!) King Constantine II, Queen Anne-Marie and their children went into exile in 1976, and King Constantine was official deposed in 1973 when Greece declared itself a republic. The majority of the jewels of the Royal Family of Greece remained their property even after the monarch was abolished, and this is true of the Greek Emerald Parure Tiara.

Queen Anne-Marie has worn the Greek Emerald Parure Tiara frequently, both with the full parure, and with the tiara by itself or parts of the parure separately. She seems especially fond of the brooch, which she often suspends from a necklace she was given by her mother, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, which she received from Queen Alexandrine of Denmark. Queen Ingrid separated the necklace into two pieces, one of which she gave to Anne-Marie, and the other to her sister Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. Queen Anne-Marie has also worn the separate emerald drops suspended from the necklace.

You can really see the ‘E’ diamond motifs in the photo on the right.

Queen Anne-Marie and King Constantine II of Greece with daughter Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark at the Gala in honour of HM Queen Margarethe’s 40th year on the throne of Denmark, 2010

What do you think of the Greek Emerald Parure Tiara?

See the Danish Emerald Parure for the first in our emerald tiara series for May.

Up next in emerald tiaras – The Emerald Parure of the Netherlands.

The Miller Sisters

Here is a tale of three sisters, two of whom became European princesses and one who became an American princess (that last one is a bit of stretch, but work with us here).

Quite a trio! (source)
Quite a trio! ( Source)

The three sisters are the children of American entrepreneur Robert Miller (the co-founder of Duty Free Shops) and his Ecuadorian wife Marie Chantal Pesantes and they have all lived pretty fascinating lives so far. The picture below was taken by Slim Arons in July 1991. Marie-Chantal is in the multi-colored bikini and sister is in yellow.

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PIA GETTY

Let’s start will the eldest sister, Pia, and work our way through. Born in 1966 in New York, Pia grew up in Hong Kong and, along with her sisters, went to boarding school in Switzerland. She studied at Bernard and in 1992 she married Christopher Ronald Getty at a wedding in Bali.

They have four children, Isabelle (1993), Robert Maximilian (1996), Conrad (1998), and Maximus (2002). Pia and Getty divorced in 2005 and she’s not a princess but considering that some folks consider the Getty family (along with the Kennedys, Rockefellers, etc) to be ‘American Royalty’, we’re going with it.

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She is not as in the public eye as her two sisters but has worked for Sephora and has a couple of documentaries under her belt. The photo below was taken in 2010 at a London event.

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Marie Chantal aka Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Greece, Princess of Greece and Denmark

Marie Chantal, the middle Miller, is next. She was born in London in 1968 and like Pia, went to boarding school in Switzerland. After that, she hopped around trying different things. As she explained to Vanity Fair:

“I went back to school, to Sarah Lawrence, then transferred to N.Y.U. Gallatin. Didn’t finish. I was so damned curious. I went and did things that would satisfy me, and then I would move on to the next. Instead of wasting four years at F.I.T. [Fashion Institute of Technology], after one semester I said, ‘O.K., that wasn’t it. Now I’m going to try singing.’ I knew I was artistic, and I wanted to do something in the arts. I wasn’t soul-searching. I have a huge sense of identity.

“Then I was in Paris for a year. I wanted to breed horses. Got into my whole equestrian look. And I also did the Escoffier School at the Ritz. I went across Italy and did a three-month art-history course. I always did healthy things. I didn’t sit around in nightclubs. Sure, I had my fair share of fun, but no one could ever accuse me of being a dilettante and doing nothing. I was always on this unbelievable quest to go and do. My father worried, I’m sure, but I think he also felt that eventually something would come up. And it did. I met Pavlos.”

She met Pavlos through a family friend and they became engaged over Christmas in Gstaad in 1995. They married six months later on July 1st, 1995. Marie Chantal wore  a Valentino gown and the reception was held at Hampton Court Palace.

The photo below shows Marie Chantal on her wedding day with her father Robert Miller.

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The bride’s title thus became Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Greece, Princess of Greece and Denmark. The Greek Royal family was abolished in 1973 but their titles are still in use. The commoner name for Pavlos is Pavlos zu Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

The happy couple is below.

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Marie-Chantal and Pavlos have five children: Princess Maria-Olympia (1996), Prince Constantine Alexios (1998), Prince Achileas-Andreas (2000), Prince Odysseas-Kimon (2004), Prince Aristidis-Stavros (2008).

Fun Fact: Prince William is Prince Constantine’s godfather, while King Constantine (below in the glasses) is one of Princes William’s godfathers. The christening took place in London in 1999 while Prince William was still at Eton.

Prince William & his godson (Daily Mail)
Prince William & his godson (Daily Mail)

Another shot of the family is below.

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Marie Chantal now runs the children’s clothing company Marie-Chantal which has seriously cute stuff (Princess Estelle of Sweden is often seen wearing it).

Post Updated 1/18/16:

There has been some press speculation that Prince Harry and Marie-Chantal’s daughter Princess Maria Olympia are an item. Olympia is on winter break from studying in New York City, and thanks to her personal instagram account we know that her winter holiday has been spent in the Bahamas (her parents have a holiday home there), Los Angeles (where her aunt Alexandra lives), and England (her parent’s home base is in London and there’s also a house in Gloucestershire).

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She may have met up with Prince Harry over the England portion of the holiday and, if not, she’s more than likely to have met him before –  her godfather is Prince Charles and Prince William is her brother’s godfather as we discussed above. The picture below is of Olympia at her brother Constantine’s christening in April 1999.

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So it would make a great story – Princess Maria Olympia could wear one of her family’s tiaras for the wedding!-but for now I’m convinced it’s just gossip. What about you?

Here are some great articles from around the web for more on Maria-Olympia and her family:

A fascinating Vanity Fair article from 2008  [Vanity Fair]

Taller did a cover story on Maria-Olympia in 2014 [Tatler]

Hello! covered Maria-Olympia’s first week in New York City [Hello!]

ALEXANDRA MILLER

Next up is Alexandra, the youngest of the three sisters. She studied at Parsons School of Design and Brown University and has had a varied career in fashion and home furnishing design. She’s shown below with Marie-Chantal and Valentino in 1997.

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On 28th October 1995 (1995 was quite a year for the Miller family!) she married Prince Alexander von Fürstenburg, the son of Diane von Fürstenberg (of the infamous wrap dress) and Prince Egon von Fürstenberg in a lavish wedding in New York City. A photo of the bride in her beautiful gown and tiara can be found here.

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Alexandra worked as Creative Director of Diane von Furstenberg for ten years, during which time she helps to relaunch the iconic wrap dress.

The couple had two children, Princess Talita Natasha (1999) and Prince Tassilo Egon Maximilian (2001). They separated in 2002 amid claims of extramarital affairs on Alexander’s side (speculation around their relationship can be found here) and are now divorced, but seem to be on friendly terms.

Alexandra now runs Alexandra von Furstenberg which makes beautiful acrylic furniture and home furnishings (I love their trays!). When she opened her Los Angeles store her former mother-in-law and husband showed up.

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Alexandra married her longtime partner Dax Miller in July 2015 at their home in Los Angeles. So she became a Miller again!

The Millers! (Daily Mail)
The Millers! (Daily Mail)

What an interesting trio they are, right?

*Update: For more on Marie-Chantal’s wedding to Prince Pavlos, click here and for more on the Prince Harry and Princess Olympia speculation, click here.